Ngahtetgyi Pagoda’s Tawkulay Monastery preserved for authentic architectural style

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A general facade view of the Tawkulay Monastery.

Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Pannajota, Presiding Patron of Tawkulay Monastery, has stated that preservation work has been undertaken on the early colonial-era Myanmar architecture of Tawkulay Monastery, located within Ngahtetgyi Pagoda precinct. This work aims to preserve the building’s historical architectural value. He added that the monastery is now a popular destination for those interested in observing this architectural style.
“Prior to my tenure, there were nine presiding patron Sayadaws in this monastery. Hence, one can infer its age. It is safe to estimate that the monastery is over a century old. Although the interior of the monastery was destroyed by fire, making detailed study challenging, the exterior of the monastery remains intact, retaining its architectural value with its construction style and design. According to historians’ analysis, the monastery is believed to have been constructed during the late Konbaung period and early colonial era. Regarding maintenance, we have engaged in discussions with our lay supporters and carried out preservation work to the best of our ability without compromising the ancient architectural value. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous foreigners, including historians and archaeologists, visited this site. While detailed historical evidence has not been unearthed, the monastery attracts many observers due to its distinctive structural construction and architectural style,” said the Sayadaw.
Tawkulay Monastery is situated within the Ngahtetgyi Pagoda compound in Bahan Township, Yangon Region, covering an area of approximately three acres. Within the Ngahtetgyi Pagoda precinct, numerous religious structures in colonial era can be found. During the construction of the Maha Thakya Atula Manaung Ngahtetgyi Pagoda around 1900, it is documented that various experts, including artists and sculptors from Mandalay, resided at the monastery. Hence, it is reasonable to infer that the monastery was built before 1900. — ASH/TMT

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